Reading aloud

The cumulative lexical interference effect

Claudio Mulatti*, Francesca Peressotti, Remo Job, Steven Saunders, Max Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Picture naming shows a cumulative semantic interference effect: Latency for naming a target picture increases as a function of the number of pictures semantically similar to the target that have previously been named (Howard, Nickels, Coltheart, & Cole-Virtue, Cognition 100:464-482, 2006). Howard and colleagues, and also Oppenheim, Dell, and Schwartz (Cognition 114:227-252, 2010), argued that this occurs because of the joint presence in the picture-naming system of three critical properties: shared activation, priming, and competition. They also discussed the possibility that whenever any cognitive system possesses these three properties, a cumulative similarity-based interference effect from repeated use of that cognitive system will occur. We investigated this possibility by looking for a cumulative lexical interference effect when the task is reading aloud: Will the latency of reading a target word aloud increase as a function of the number of words orthographically/phonologically similar to the target that have previously been read aloud? We found that this was so. This supports the general idea that cumulative similarity-based interference effects will arise whenever any cognitive system that possesses the three key properties of shared activation, priming, and competition is repeatedly used.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)662-667
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reading aloud: The cumulative lexical interference effect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this